September 19, 2005

MMAWeekly SoundOff Forum & Jeff Cain
Yves Edwards will be taking on the best lightweight fighters in the world on the 25th, but last night he took on the SoundOff Forum. Edwards was the most recent fighter to appear on MMAWeekly’s Sunday Night Conversation. Yves discussed the Bushido 9 tournaments, his contract status with Pride, and a lot more. If you missed the chance to chat with Yves live in the SoundOff Forum, don’t miss the next Sunday Night Conversation where another fighter will be chatting with the fans, and answering your questions.

Yves was asked about his relationship with the UFC, and if he’s heard anything about when the UFC plans to bring back the lightweight division. He answered, “As of right now I have no contract with the UFC. We have a good working relationship, and I’m waiting on some paper work from them. They haven’t mentioned when they will bring back the lightweights.” He added, “I’m not sure they are really interested in the LW’s right now. It could be a while.”

Edwards has been fortunate enough to have fought in the UFC and Pride. He was questioned about the difference in competing in the U.S. verses fighting in Japan with regards to the fans. He replied, “As far as fighting goes I don’t see much difference, but the fans are completely different. The fans there are so much more in the know collectively than the fans here. The Hardcore fans here are like the typical fans there. IMO.”

MMAWeekly’s Ivan Trembow asked Yves, “Out of the other six fighters in the main draw of the 160-pound tournament (Gomi, Kawajiri, Kotani, Azeredo, Sakurai, and Pulver), who do you feel are the top two or three names to beat?” Edwards answered, “No disrespect, but I think the least dangerous guy is Kotani, and even he is dangerous on some level, but after that I think every guy in this tournament has a legitimate shot of winning this thing. If Azeredo doesn’t have a hard time with Kotani he’s gonna give Gomi or Kawajiri the fight of their lives. And me, I gotta look at Hansen with Sakurai and Jens in the back of my mind. If this tourney wasn’t such a good one it would suck.” Further commenting, Yves said, “All these guys are dangerous in different ways. I’m gonna just have to make the right adjustments, and do every thing I can.”

The first round of the lightweight tournament has some interesting match ups. This is possibly the greatest MMA tournament to date. Who will make it out of the first round, and advance to fight a second time on September 25th? Yves said, “I’m rooting for me over Hansen, Jens over Sakurai, Kawajiri and Gomi is a toss up, and Kotani will fall to Azeredo in my opinion.”

If Yves and Gomi advance to the finals, Yves was asked if he’d stand and bang with Gomi. He replied, “I will stand with Gomi, but the only banging going on will be my fist to his face.”

Edwards has been beaten by Tatsuya Kawajiri just over two years ago by unanimous decision in Shooto. Questioned what he’d do different this time, if the two meet in the finals, to come out the winner, Yves said, “I’ll have to be more aggressive standing.”

Edwards was asked if he does win the lightweight tournament, and becomes the Pride Lightweight Champion if he’d stay in Pride or come back to the UFC. He commented, “I just love fighting and right now PRIDE is willing to pay me. I’ll definitely stay and defend the belt. I wouldn’t give up a title. They have to take it from me.”

What is Edwards’ contract with Pride, and how many fights is it? Responding Yves simply said, “The deal is for more than one fight, so I’ll be around for awhile.”

Of course the same night as the lightweight tournament, there is a 183lb. tournament. Yves was questioned who he thinks will win it. He stated, “Busta, Henderson, or Baroni. One of those three will win it.”

On a personal level, Yves was recently married. He’s the very proud father of a two year old son. Giving a little insight into fatherhood’s favorite moments, Yves commented, “There is no one cool thing about my son. He is 100% perfect. One of my favorite things though is that when he sees my fights on TV he seems so proud, and he tries to imitate me. I love that.”

The Sunday Night Conversation is the latest feature MMAWeekly has implemented to give the fans the opportunity to ask the questions they want answered, and bring them closer to the fighters. We’ve had Jens “Little Evil” Pulver and Yves Edwards in the first two weeks. Don’t miss out on the next Sunday Night Conversation, and that chance to chat live with one of the top Mixed Martial Artists in the world.